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| 26 July 2018 | Reply

Written & Directed by Christopher McQuarrie
Starring Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to suspend belief for a sliver short of two-and-a-half hours and follow Ethan Hawke and his IMF crew as they yet again save the world against all odds. Some of those in attendance at Perth’s preview found that too much for them, laughing at some of the more implausible twists and turns in the breathtaking Kashmiri mountain climax of the movie, but the secret is right there in the title: this is Mission IMPOSSIBLE, not Mission Everyday. Everyone who accepted that, suspended belief and strapped in for the ride had a great time.

Hawke (Tom Cruise), Luther (Ving Rhames) and Benji (Simon Pegg) are this time saddled with the responsibility of stopping mad-as-a-box-of-cut-eels psychopath Solomon Lane (Sean Harris, returning to deliver a performance of chilling, evil stillness) from procuring enough plutonium to set off three nuclear warheads and make a depressing dent in the world’s population.

Lumbered with CIA agent/looming assassin Walker (Henry Cavill, sporting a rough beard to differentiate him from his Superman/Clark Kent persona), the team chase a succession of bad guys and girls through Paris, leaving a trail of bodies behind them. They spectacularly break Lane out of a prison convoy and try to intercept the plutonium, all while their bosses (Secretary of State Alec Baldwin and CIA director Angela Bassett) squabble and bicker and plot and double-cross.

Like any good Bond/Bourne-esque thriller, the scenery is stunning, from the rooftops of Paris to the mountains of Kashmir (though some of these scenes were apparently shot in Norway). The action is intense, fierce and bloody, with the focus on amazing stunts rather than an abundance of CGI (Cruise actually fractured his ankle in one scene, stalling production). McQuarrie has peppered his script with dark humour, and the merest hint of a love triangle with Hawke’s exes Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson) and Julia (Michelle Monaghan) both returning to the fold (though not enough to distract from the action). Then there’s the right-down-to-the-wire climax involving a helicopter chase, a countdown to destruction and… well, that’s enough for now.

MI: Fallout is close to the perfect Hollywood blockbuster. The script is insane and over the top, the effects mind-blowing, the acting rock solid. What does let the film down more than anything isn’t the implausibility of the plot (Mission IMPOSSIBLE, remember) it’s the over-earnestness that some great actors are forced to regurgitate, especially in the closing scene. Giving Angela Bassett and others dialogue this banal is Mission Embarrassing for the filmmakers.


Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

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